Dance Fever, Spanish Style

We always knew there was more to the art of flamenco than the techniques we picked up one night while eating paella on Calle Ocho and watching a cross-dressing cantaor, who sang and danced with a pink fringed shawl tied tightly around his hips, make the tourists sing along. Now we can learn: The Arsht Center is hosting three days of events at the first Flamenco Festival Miami. Created in southern Spain as a peasant dance -- with influences from Gypsies, Jews, Arabs, and Africans -- flamenco is now an ever-evolving phenomenon of swirling skirts, clapping hands, and fancy footwork.

Tonight at 8, catch opening-night headliner Cuatro Esquinas with singers Carmen Linares and Miguel Poveda; nuevo flamenco guitarist Juan Carlos Romero; and dancer Pastora Galván at the Knight Concert Hall (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets cost $15 to $65. Judge local chefs at the free South Florida Paella Cook-Off outside on the Arsht Center Plaza from 6 to 8. There’s also Spanish food for purchase inside for performance ticket holders. In the next two weeks, you can become a flamenco expert with dance workshops, a photography exhibit, and free demonstrations. Call the Arsht Center box office at 305-949-6722, or visit for the full schedule.
Thu., Feb. 7, 2008


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